Leading Edge: Limitless Transformation – Conquering Perfectionism

Limitless Transformation from Aegis Learning and Tim Schneider

To cure the perfection behavior, begin to do the following:

1. Reconcile to the Good
This is the most important step for perfectionists to embrace and challenge themselves. Realize that good or great quality, especially if that is defined by your organization, is exactly the stopping point. No additional work is needed from you or others.

2. Diminishing Returns
The perfectionist must also recognize the costs and diminishing returns associated with continuing beyond good or great while pursuing perfection. Does it make sense to spend ten additional hours working on a good spreadsheet when the total value of the additional effort is nominal or stylistic? Does it make sense to work on very good designs for an extra fifty hours when the pricing does not change?

3. Reducing Judgement
Humans are judgmental creatures by our very DNA and composition. Perfectionists have perfected judgementalism and are constantly judging situations and people compared to their standard and vision of perfect. Not only is this grossly unfair but it is unhealthy when it becomes continuous. This action must be taken mindfully and purposefully with a solid intention to reduce negative judgements and to be more generous and appreciative.

4. Say Thank You, And Nothing Else
Actively practice just saying the simple, and sincere, “thank you” when someone provides you something. Don’t criticize, don’t add value to it, don’t even think about how you could have done it better. Just say “thank you”.

This is about acceptance of work and efforts from people where they are at. They are at and not where you think they should be. This is not about accepting substandard or poor quality in any way, shape, or form but it is about acknowledging the good when it meets the needed standard, not your personal standard.

Thank you.

5. Reduce Criticality
Openly and mindfully look for the good in situations, people, and work product. Stop instantly seeing the room for improvement or the flaws. Actively practice seeking out the good that others do and the imperfect good that exists all around us. Note these and keep a journal of those items compared to how many times you see something wrong or something that could be done better. In about ten days you will find the notations and observations of the good taking a more prevalent and dominant role compared to the criticality.

Another target of your criticality is you. As a perfectionist you demand perfection from others and yourself. Reducing criticality needs to start and end with how hard you are on yourself. You are a perfect creation exactly as is, flaws and all. Be more accepting and gentler with yourself especially when you have made a mistake (gasp) or didn’t deliver something with perfect quality. Take it easy on yourself.

Perfectionism Frequency:
Often __________
Occasionally __________
Never __________

Perfectionism Impact:

High ____________________
Moderate ____________________
Low ____________________

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